Long-term, intensive case management utilizing theories and practices from Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change Model, and Harm Reduction help participants achieve the goals they set. What makes Collaborative Diversion's case management different is that it is person-centered and participant-led. Rather than being mandated into short-term changes, participants are encouraged to find their own inner motivation to change and supported as they take steps toward that change. Collaborative Diversion believes in promoting accountability and self-autonomy as a means of preserving participants' dignity and worth.
Participants identify which aspects of their life need help, such as housing, employment, substance use, mental health issues, financial hardships, housing, and family and community relationships. Participants are then connected to resources to address the areas of need and also provided advocacy to help them overcome the barriers of racial and economic disparities. Collaborative Diversion case managers are dedicated to building a relationship with participants that is founded on trust, respect, acceptance, and empowerment.
The Operations Workgroup (OWG) is comprised of case managers, law enforcement officers, service providers, and a representative from both the Public Defender's and State's Attorney's Offices. As part of LEAD's collaborative approach, the OWG meets twice a month to review day-to-day operations and individual cases, assess progress and identify new or ongoing needs or issues related to the program.
The Community Leadership Team (CLT) provides a critical connection to the community, combining people with lived experience with the criminal legal system, substance use, mental health, and homelessness together with social and racial justice advocates and other engaged community members to provide ongoing feedback on the initiative. CLT members reflect the population and community most impacted by law enforcement. Allowing input from people who know the issues affecting their communities, the CLT makes sure the LEAD initiative is actively meeting its goals. The CLT meets monthly, typically via a virtual platform to make attending meetings easier for those who volunteer their time.